To the editor:
Politicians ought to be wooing Asian Americans.
Seattle Times columnist Jerry Large cited revealing statistics from a recent study that breaks down the complex political demographic within the Asian and Pacific Islander community.
As one of the fastest-growing groups to potentially affect the outcome of the presidential campaign in several swing states, Large offers some advice: Pay attention. APIAs have clout and are a growing force in the land of politics.
While some politicians have yet to fully realize the political strength of APIAs, Gov. Gregoire has always acknowledged the contributions of our community. Since elected as governor, Chris Gregoire has worked with us in the APIA community to make sure that all residents in Washington have access to quality and accessible health care by reducing language and cultural barriers so that individuals and their families, especially our elders, can navigate the health care system.
Gov. Gregoire recognizes that Asian Americans are not comprised of one lump ethnicity, but that we are made up of various and distinct groups. As governor, Chris Gregoire recognizes that, similar to other minority groups, the APIA community faces challenges with our K-12 and higher education system.
That is why Gov. Gregoire has been an outspoken leader in addressing student achievement gaps, ensuring that education research includes the disaggregation of student data, attending to the needs of English language learning students and increasing financial support to give more APIA students access to college.
Gov. Gregoire understands that APIAs are diverse with varied views and she is effective in reaching out to our community. Now is the time to assert our political force and deliver the APIA vote to victory for Gov. Gregoire.
—Livia Lam, Seattle
Lam has served as Washington state outreach director and as legislative policy analyst for Sen. Cantwell.